I’m post-pregnancy with my second child, and I am here to tell you that newborn babies are the bomb. Yes, I really just said that. Not only did I use the expression “the bomb” but I also just said that I love having a newborn baby. Between 0-3 months, they are the best. I currently have an (almost) three year old toddler and a 12 week old baby. The difference between the two is so astounding, that I’ve been moved to write about it. I don’t want to start a bad habit of comparing my two kids, so I’m only going to do it once.
Here are 5 reasons why having a newborn makes me feel like a professional winner.
1. Newborns sleep A TON. Despite the fact that people will tell you “You’ll never sleep again” (which is partially true) you would not believe how many hours a day these little things sleep! I’m talking 18-21 hours a day. It’s kind of hilarious. After a session of milk and a few kicks, blinks, and coo’s they’re completely exhausted again and fall back to sleep for another 2-4 hours. The quiet time feels golden. Nap time with my toddler looks and sounds like a straight-up CIA negotiation, which most of the time ends with a child who hasn’t slept and a bedroom that looks like an explosion went off. Bed time with my toddler usually involves me falling asleep before him and him very often waking me up by gently prying my eyelids open at 6:45am.
2. You can lay a newborn down almost anywhere and they’ll stay there. It’s like magic! In those first few months, before they start rolling, newborns will just kick and hang out wherever you put them (safely and carefully mind you). The bed, the sofa, a bassinet, on a rug, on a restaurant banquet, on a blanket under a tree. Aside from your arms, they like almost any surface area that is comfy and has a view of pretty much anything at all. If you walk away for a minute or two, you will often return to a sleeping baby or a big smile which makes you feel like a hero. To ask my toddler to sit still for even one entire minute is actually and physically impossible, even when he’s strapped into a car seat. To pick up my toddler when he is not willing involves contortionism like you’ve never seen and sometimes a rag doll move thrown in for good measure. To genuinely ask a toddler who has no concept of time to wait, is like asking a fish to walk.
3. Newborns are lovers. They aren’t trying to become their own little person yet, or have control over everything and everyone around them. Yes they will cry for what they need, but once that need is met all is right with the world. All they care about is your love, a clean diaper, a warm blanket, and their mother’s boobs. In your arms is pretty much their happy place. Toddlers can be demanding, controlling, convincing, and inexhaustible until undefeated. If something is not done they way they envision, they will not be easily distracted until they have controlled the situation accordingly. They are by nature, professional cuddlers, but if they aren’t in the mood for cuddling, watch out. I challenge you to successfully cuddle a toddler who would rather be doing something else.
4. Meal time? A newborn has ONE thing on the menu and that’s milk, via boobies or formula. You’ll never feel like a bad parent because you forgot to pack a snack, or because you didn’t prepare it the right way. You won’t find yourself giving in and allowing your newborn something unhealthy because there is no choice in the matter. You can feed your newborn anytime, anywhere: in bed, in a waiting room, on a park bench, at the beach, in a museum, in a parking lot, the possibilities are endless. It’s efficient and direct and as long as they’ve got milk, they’re happy. With most of the 3 year olds I know, meal time is a tricky and finnicky beast that entails persuasion, rewards, half-eaten meals and a sticky mess to clean up.
5. And lastly, newborns are really good at making you feel smart. This is mostly because they don’t and can’t ask you any questions. You can basically say whatever you want to a newborn and as long as it’s done in a gentle and loving way, they’ll gaze up at you as if you were the most intelligent and delightful person on earth. Toddlers looooove to ask questions. Questions you really don’t know the answer to but probably should, and that can make you feel less smart than expected. Toddlers also have incredible memories and can often remember infinite details that your tired adult brain forgot almost instantly. This too can make you feel like a moron with a genius child who knows more than you.
In closing, I would just like to say that newborns are like little cherubs from heaven, and toddlers are the spice of life. BOTH of my children are the absolute best. They are brother and sister and I cannot possibly imagine one without the other. It turns out they are totally enamored with each other too which makes them a perfect duo.
I can’t wait to see what I have to say 12 years from now. Good lord, give me strength.